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Christ in North America?

(article excerpt only)

by Wayne May


Enter Burrows Cave:

In 1982, a discovery apparently unrelated to the Michigan tablets was alleged to have been made by Russell Burrows of Olney, Illinois. He claims to have found a cave in the southern part of his state loaded with the treasures of foreign visitors who crossed the seas from the Near East, Europe and Africa about 2,000 years ago.

He claims the site is also a rich repository of stone records belonging to some unknown people who possessed a high level of culture. I have known Burrows since 1993, and compiled a photographic library of 2,000 such stones. I personally examined about half of them, and have concluded they are authentic artifacts. Although he refuses to divulge the location of his cave, the sheer number and sometimes fine workmanship of the artifacts he allegedly took from the site tend to support their identification as genuine artifacts.

Even so, many of my fellow Diffusionists have condemned the Burrows Cave finds as part of an elaborate hoax. Admittedly, the tangle of frustrating obstacles, legal and otherwise, preventing any kind of access to the location's whereabouts have disenchanted very many investigators. But the full story of Burrows Cave, while yet to be told, is gradually unfolding with the gradual release of objects never before seen, and someday we may learn everything there is to know about this site. There may be a parallel here with the Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in 1948. Even now, a complete accounting of this find has still not been disclosed to the public.

Burrows telephoned me two years ago to say that he had purposely withheld some inscribed stones from sale because of the imagery they featured: namely, identifiably Christian scenes, mostly Old Testament; also, men anal-ly engaging each other. Burrows was uncomfortable with these items, because he feared critics would use such obvious themes to further debunk his story. Burrows knew some Indians had knowledge of Old World traditions and Old Testament tales. But what concerned him was, as he put it, "the Jesus Stones."

At my request, he sent me photographs of them, and I was able to compare their images of evidently Old Testament themes with similar representations found on the infamous Michigan Tablets, (which have been proven to be modern forgeries, but we shall use them as reference anyway). I was astonished to notice that both sets not only featured scenes of Jesus Christ, but also the same "Mystic Symbol." The same symbol appears in Southern Illinois 62 years after the last published information concerning the Michigan Mound Builders using this identical mark. I was so amazed, the thought that these artifacts were all fake never crossed my mind. Approximately 20,000 to 30,000 Michigan artifacts were excavated from 1848 to the 1920's, compared with the 6,000 to 7,000 Burrows Cave stones of Southern Illinois removed between 1982 and 1989. These fundamental facts render any possibility for either collection being a hoax extremely remote, in not impossible; at least in my mind.

The predominant glyph found on the Burrows Cave objects is the famous "Helios Motif" discovered of course by the world's finest Epigrapher, Paul Schaffranke. Even this important character is found in conjunction with the Michigan symbol to suggest some type of inter-action between these two otherwise distinct groups. Maybe these glyphs have the same meaning. There appear to have been vital differences between these two groups of ancient Americans: non-Christian imagery dominates the Burrows Cave stones.

Still, there are legitimate doubts among our own Diffusionist supporters concerning these "Christ Stones," due largely to some relatively minor variations in the placement of glyphs, together with the anomalous appearance of a particular symbol on the Michigan objects. Clearly, much work still needs to be done in any comparisons of these two diverse collections. But the evidence of the Michigan Tablets and Burrows Cave stones suggest that some fundamentally important culture-bearer visited our Western Hemisphere in pre-Columbian times. Was it actually the Christ? Or one of his disciples? Whatever his true identity, the arrival of this person left a deep impact on the tribal memories of Native Americans. Their "Yod-hey-vah" is remarkably similar to Je-ho-vah, who seems to be portrayed throughout the Michigan Tablets.

Was the East Star Man and Peace-Maker known to so many indigenous North American tribes really Jesus Christ? Perhaps the imminent translation of the Illinois and Michigan artifacts will answer that question.

Ancient Serpents of Southern Illinois

by Dr. John White III

June 20th, Dr. White told listeners at Ancient American's Second Annual Conference in Murray, Utah, about serpent images recurring throughout stones found in Southern Illinois. Here he describes this curious imagery and shares his interpretation delivered last summer.

For the benefit of newcomers, let me explain that Burrows Cave is an alleged source of at least 4,000 soft, black, sedimentary rock artifacts having engraved drawings and ancient writings of what can be collectively called a broad North African motif from the general era of 300 BC to 500 AD, but more likely from 100 BC to 300 AD.

Very few of the details are well established, however, good research progress is being made. The expression "Burrows Cave" derives from the description provided by Russell Burrows, who claims to have located this cave in Southern Illinois near a branch of the Skillet Fork River in 1982. He has made a large number of the artifacts available and for sale, but no one else can verify his claim for the existence of the cave. And as long as he doesn't reveal the entrance, we are safe with our artifacts.

I'd be willing to share a foxhole with Burrows in a time of need, but I have little confidence that he and his friends have the knowledge and the secret society to turn out convincing ancient-looking artifacts for little more than minimum wages, if that, and yet have no known public dissension within their highly skilled ranks. If Burrows Cave is indeed a hoax, it is by far the most expensive, time consuming, subtle (what is the real message?) and intellectually original of its kind.

The critics raise some important questions (these must be answered eventually), but the research in support of a Burrows Cave fraud is essentially bankrupt. In fact, it appears that many of the archaeological finds cataloged in the US (mostly from other countries) can't meet the documentation standards satisfied by the Burrows Cave artifacts. The reality of unproved artifacts is indeed a grave limitation for American archaeology, but reliance on the opinion of some alleged expert can serve only as a research of funding guideline, not as a scientific proof.

The public would be very disturbed to know how many valuable artifacts the so-called archaeological Establishment has "buried" or "lost" over the years.

My Ancient American Conference lecture was prepared wit the assistance of Midwestern Epigraphic Society Pres., Beverly Moseley, who applied his skills to the photographs and drawings. All of the slides presented related to available Burrows Cave artifacts, unless specified otherwise.

The first section was an "Introduction," which identified the Great Serpent Mound of Adams County Ohio, Figure 1, as the single most important monument of ancient North America. Standard interpretations of it are weak, and there has been little success in connecting it directly with the Adena, Hopewell, or Fort Ancient cultures, although that is the general expectation. Mounds in Iowa and in Avebury, England, compare well. The symbology of a Colorado artifact (from 1890), a Big Sandy River stone effigy, and a Frenchburg, Kentucky stone effigy, are quite similar.

The trinity of the Earth Mother Culture (E.M.C.) was illustrated to suggest the primary source of this frequently occurring serpent symbology. The Earth Mother provides new life, the Sun is the male God of the day, and the Serpent (the original Earth-God or Father) is the male god of the night. The solar system was poorly understood.

The second section on "Burrows Cave Snakes" provided approximately ten examples of serpent art. These included a serpent-priest, the classical caduceus, a Ptolemaic Egyptian soldier with a Uraus on his helmet, examples of the uroborus (a serpent design on a ship's sail), and a serpent carved on a ceremonial libation bowl.

The Earth Mother is surely the oldest and most venerated Earth deity. Her male consort is quite old and specialized in protection, wisdom, longevity, male fertility, and some ceremonial duties. The Earth God was symbolized as a serpent, and there is some suggestion that the Earth Mother mated as a serpent. The Earth-God later acquired a land-dragon aspect in order to become a king of the beasts, and finally he acquired an astronomical dragon aspect to achieve a competitive role with the new male Sun-God.

The Burrows Cave artists were well-versed in the attributes of dragons. The seven examples sown may be the best collection found to date. One of the flying dragon stones repeats this trinity symbolism. We also discussed the portrayal of the alleged "edge of the flat Earth," Figure 2(a) where the serpent awaits any who happen to approach. This art clearly foreshadowed the author's interpretation of the Serpent Mound.

The presentation next moved on to "Explicit Serpent Mound Images." This was the heart of the lecture, and we showed ten examples of artifacts similar to the two sketched in Figures 2(b) and 2(c). In each case, we saw a portrayal of a mythological scene in which the Serpent-God is capturing or releasing the Sun-God. If you missed it in Figure 1, you should now observe that the "egg" has a mound-like border with a stone-pile "dot" in the middle. Despite the distortion of the shape, this object is clearly the standard hieroglyphic symbol for the Sun used not only in Egypt, but nearly worldwide.

We then presented some more derived symbolism called "Implicit Serpent Mound Images." Most of these artifacts featured a Y-mouthed symbol of the Serpent with or without the Sun globe on a stand, a helmet, a collar, or a ceremonial standard. We showed a North African man with the Y-snake design on his robe. We displayed a Cleopatra Selene-type with a Y-globe standard on her ship.

This lecture concluded with the display of a map from a Burrows Cave artifact indicating roughly the location of some of the known Serpent effigies of North America and some of the more notable Adena Mounds (Miamisburg and Grave Creek). Thus, the map could have been prepared during the 100-300 AD era.

This presentation developed two important ideas: The first is that the Burrows Cave culture is the leading candidate to have influenced the design and construction of the Great Serpent Mound. The second point is the assertion that the "egg" is definitely a symbol of the Sun. The author's interpretation of this ancient symbolism is that the Serpent God swallowed the Sun god at every sunset and releases him at every sunrise. Such a concept occurs in Egyptian mythology. This explanation of the Sun's daily life is at the very heart of the ancient flat earth science.

Methods for Burrows Cave Verification

by Dr. John White III

The purpose of this note is to call attention to the recent article, "Hopewell Pipe Theory Disproved," by Dale Gnidovec, which was published in the Columbus Dispatch, Sunday, November 8, 1998, p 8B. The article discusses a point about "artifact material characterization" that might have value to Burrows Cave researchers.

You may recall the article by Virginia McIntyre, "Proposed Methods for the Determination of Burrows Cave Artifact Authenticity," (MES Vol 10). My own view has been to save my money and time until I obtained a colleague who was 1) capable, 2) convenient, 3) suitably connected with test facilities, 4) enthusiastic for the research subject, and 5) able to discuss the subject with me technically until we were able to identify the right questions to be asked.

On the one hand, I have little doubt about the outcome of future BC verification test. But on the other hand there has been so much unfounded claim about fraud without a shred of proof that I foresee the society spending $100,000 for scientifically positive test results only to be buried by an avalanche of meaningless politics.

The topic of Burrows Cave artifact verification has taken a turn for the positive lately. We have learned that Wayne May, publisher of The Ancient American, and Dr. Norman Totted of the Bentley College History Department and The Epigraphic Society are involved with independent projects to discover if the engraving on the Burrows Cave stones was accomplished in pre-Columbian times.